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4 petitions

This petition won 2 years ago

Petition to Matthew Hancock MP

Don't weaken the Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act established the broad principle that public bodies must release information if the public interest in doing so outweighs the public interest in it remaining secret. We, the undersigned, urge the Government not to do anything which would detract from that principle. In particular we urge you: to ensure that the Act continues to allow for the release of internal discussions at local and central government level when there is a public interest in doing so not to seek to create any new veto powers over the release of information not to introduce charges for Freedom of Information Act requests or appeals. Any charges could dramatically undermine the ability of requesters, including regional press journalists and freelances in particular, to use the Act to hold authorities to account. Investigative journalism is time-consuming, expensive and sometimes difficult to justify for news organisations which are under financial pressure. It needs to be nurtured and encouraged, for the benefit of society and democracy, not subject to Freedom of Information charges which would be effectively be a tax on journalism. This petition was launched by Press Gazette as part of the Society of Editors' Hands Off FoI campaign. It also has the backing of the Campaign for Freedom of Information. Note to signatories: If backing this on behalf of an organisation, or news title, please indicate which one you represent. If you are a journalist, please give your job title and organisation if you can. Please do so in the section where you are invited to share your reasons for signing the petition.

Dominic Ponsford - editor of Press Gazette
42,970 supporters
This petition won 4 years ago

Petition to U.S Coastguard, William Hague MP

Restart the search for the missing Cheeki Rafiki crew members.

Cheeki Rafiki, a sailing yacht from Southampton, was returning home to the UK with a crew of four, following a successful race in the Caribean. On Thursday Skipper Andrew Bridge reported that the boat was taking on water. The experienced crew believed that the situation was stable but amended their course to head for the group of islands, Azores. On Friday morning the yacht training and charter firm Stormforce Coaching lost all contact with them. The US Coast Guard has done a fantastic job searching for the crew, but we are asking that they just give them a bit more time. It is reported that two consecutive signals were picked up from personal beacons indicating that they had made it to the life raft. They deserve a chance to be found, please help by signing this petition to ask the US Coastguard to please search again.  I sailed with Andy on Cheeki Rafiki last summer during the Fastnet 2013 race. Andy is an amazing guy and showed such genuine care for me and all his crew mates, that we all consider him a close friend and desperately want him to be found.   ***UPDATE*** We have just heard that the US Coast Guard will be resuming the search for the Cheeki Rafiki crew. This is amazing. I’m overwhelmed.   When we started this campaign, we didn’t know who would listen, just that our boys were lost at sea and we refused to let go of hope. The support we have had has been incredible and we are so grateful for the US Coast Guard for listening to over 200,000 of us who signed the petition on The skill and expertise they have is invaluable, we will keep our hope alive until there is more news. Please tweet by clicking the link below to say thank you to the US Coast Guard for responding to our campaign: Thank you to the US Coast Guard for responding to our call and resuming search of #cheekirafiki Let's keep up hope. Thank you again, so much, for helping my amazing friend Andy and his crewmates by giving them a fighting chance. The impact you have made by signing this petition is unbelievable. Nicola

Nicola Evans
242,092 supporters